Spring Commencement 2019

May 1, 2019

MSU Engineering to celebrate graduation of almost 900 students this weekend

Michigan State University will host commencement ceremonies for more than 890 graduates of the College of Engineering this weekend.

Engineering major directional signs at Commencement
Congratulations Spartan Engineers - come home often.

Advanced degrees -- The Advanced Degree Commencement is Friday, May 3, at 3:30 p.m. in MSU's Breslin Center. There will be 67 master's and 68 PhD candidates from the College of Engineering. The ceremony will be approximately 2 1/2 hours. There are no admission tickets required. The Breslin Center has a policy of no bags, purses, umbrellas, or bottled water allowed. 

Undergraduates -- The College of Engineering will host graduation services for 759 undergraduates on Sunday, May 5, at 12:30 p.m. in the Breslin Center. The ceremony will be approximately two hours. There are no admission tickets required. The Breslin Center has a policy of no bags, purses, umbrellas, or bottled water allowed.

Leo Kempel, dean of the College of Engineering, will offer both the welcome and closing remarks at undergraduate graduation.

“The College of Engineering is extremely proud of our graduating students," Kempel said. "This largest ever class is going into the marketplace to reenergize the Michigan economy as well as lead technological innovations. Each and every one of these special graduates live up to the mantra “Who will engineer the future? Spartans Will!!!” I look forward to keeping in touch with them and hope they come home often."

Lindsay Fricano, a senior in materials sciences, will sing the Star Spangled Banner

Amanda Idema, assistant dean for Undergraduate Student Affairs, serves as commencement coordinator. 

Undergraduate commencement speaker 

Kasey A. Coleman, a senior in chemical engineering on a pre-medical track, will be the undergraduate commencement speaker. She will offer thoughts on "Engineer Your Future: Designing a Path Towards Servant Leadership." 

The undergraduate commencement speaker will be Kasey A. Coleman.
The undergraduate commencement speaker will be Kasey A. Coleman.

While pursuing her interest in medicine, Coleman has conducted cancer research for two years at both the University of Iowa and Vanderbilt University. 

A dynamic student leader, she said her interests are to serve her community and grow into a multi-dimensional leader. She has achieved leadership positions with Jack & Jill of America, Inc., and the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). She has been an active member of the National Society of Black Engineers since 2014, and has held leadership roles on the local, regional, and national levels. She also made history by developing and launching “NSBE Now!” the first application (app) exclusive to the organization. 

She served in several leadership roles within her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha. In 2017, she was selected as a leadership fellow of the 38th cohort, a program launched in 1979 as a concentrated three-tier initiative for Alpha Kappa Alpha leadership development, professional career development, and personal development.  In July 2018, at the 68th International Convention in Houston, Texas, nearly 20,000 members elected her the International Second Vice President for the 2018-2020 program term.

She lives by the following quote attributed to her late father, Allen M. Coleman: "If a task is once begun, never leave it until it's done. Be thy labor, big or small, do it well or not at all.”

Coleman will spend the summer as a Congressional intern with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation in Washington, D.C. 

In the early fall, she will become a supplier quality engineer with United Technologies Corp.'s Collins Aerospace.

She is a high school graduate of Cranbrook Kingswood Upper School in Bloomfield Hills.

Undergraduate keynote address

Penny Wirsing, PE, will offer the undergraduate keynote address as the 2019 Claud R. Erickson Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient. Wirsing will receive the honor at the College of Engineering Alumni Awards banquet on Saturday. The award is the highest honor presented to an alumnus by the college. It recognizes professional accomplishment, volunteer service, and distinguished service to the college and the engineering profession.

Wirsing, a 1983 civil engineering graduate, is an environmental manager at Torrance Refining Company LLC in Southern California. She has been working in the environmental science and engineering fields for more than 30 years.

She is current national president of the Society of Women Engineers, a 40,000-member professional organization dedicated to encouraging women to achieve their full potential in careers as engineers and leaders. She has been an engaged member of SWE since she was a student at MSU, serving in numerous leadership roles.

Read more on Wirsing and seven other alumni being honored May 4.

Advanced degree graduates -- Joseph Salatino will make academic history on May 3 when he graduates as MSU's first PhD in biomedical engineering.

Photo of Joseph Salatino (right) and his advisor, Dr. Erin Purcell (left)
Joseph Salatino will receive MSU's first PhD in biomedical engineering on May 3. His advisor is Erin Purcell, assistant professor of biomedical engineering.

About MSU Commencements

MSU is hosting commencement ceremonies from Thursday, May 2, through Sunday, May 11. See entire Commencement schedule.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will speak at Michigan State University’s advanced degree graduation ceremony May 3 and receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.

In addition, former Spartan quarterback Kirk Cousins, now with the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings, will receive an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree and speak at the May 3, undergraduate convocation.

Convocation is at 1 p.m. and the advanced degree ceremony is at 3:30 p.m., both at the Jack Breslin Student Events Center, 534 Birch Road. Commencement ceremonies will be live-streamed and can be watched via MSU’s commencement website.

Spartan Engineer and long-time friend William Demmer, CEO of Demmer Holdings Inc., will receive an honorary Doctor of Business degree at the undergraduate convocation. Reimund Neugebauer, president of German research organization Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, will receive an honorary Doctor of Engineering degree during the advanced degree ceremony.

For the safety of attendees, no bags or purses will be allowed in Breslin Center for any commencement ceremonies. Cameras and camcorders are permitted, but cases are prohibited. No food or beverages — including bottled water — will be allowed, and this applies to graduates, guests and faculty. Breslin Center will offer a limited concessions menu during the ceremonies. Additional prohibited items include noisemakers, selfie sticks, pets, signs and weapons of any form. Breslin Center is a smoke-free facility.

Metal detectors will screen all attendees, so please plan accordingly for processing.

MSU's multiple commencement services will celebrate almost 8000 graduates this spring. MSU will graduate 5,677 undergraduates and 2,270 advanced degree candidates.


Twitter users: #MSUGrad19